Project #7448

Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums

by Christel House International
Christel House is breaking the cycle of poverty
Christel House is breaking the cycle of poverty

The reality for impoverished children in India, particularly girls, is stifling. They face insurmountable odds and are sentenced to repeat the generational cycle of poverty into which they were born.

  • An estimated 47% of women in India are married by age 181.
  • 29.8% of girls in India complete Grade 10 1.
  • Only 1 in 100 girls in India graduate from Grade 121.

Christel House has been working to break this cycle of poverty in India for 15 years. Students starting in kindergarten at Christel House India are 16 times more likely to graduate from a post-secondary education program when compared to government school students.

  • Girls with secondary schooling are 6 times less likely to be child brides than those with little or no education 3.
  • Christel House India has a 96% annual retention rate.
  • 98 in 100 students at Christel House India pass their graduation exams.

And, with your support, we want to continue the impact. We will soon open a new school in India to give even more children a brighter future.

The government of Chhattisgarh, one of India’s poorest states, is building a new school for Christel House in the city of Naya Raipur. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Initially, it will serve 210 students in Grades K–2. Each year, the school will add one new grade level.

The government is funding construction, but Christel House will be responsible for covering the cost of student programs, teachers, books, food, health care and transportation.

For young girls living in poverty in Naya Raipur, attending Christel House will mean a free, quality education, nutrition, medical support, safe transportation to and from school and a healthy environment to learn and grow.

Your support of ‘Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums’ is giving impoverished girls the opportunity to step into a classroom for the very first time. Thank you for helping to change a child’s life story.

1. The World of Indian Girls 2014 Report – Save the Children
2. Impact at Scale, DARSA
3. Keeping Girls in Secondary Schools, DARSA

Rendering of the new school in Naya Raipur
Rendering of the new school in Naya Raipur


Kusuma at graduation
Kusuma at graduation

We are excited to share that Kusuma, a 2011 Christel House India—Bangalore graduate, was recently featured by The Times of India. We thought you might enjoy reading her story.

Cabbie’s daughter lands a job at Dell

BANGALORE: Kusuma’s story is one of turning hardships into opportunities. Daughter of taxi driver Raju and school helper Pushpamma, this computer science graduate has beaten all odds to land a job at Dell Inc.

The 23-year-old woman says she owes much of her success to Christel House India—Bangalore, a charitable organization that works for the education and healthcare of children from impoverished city neighborhoods. Pushpamma heard about the school from one of her colleagues and ensured her daughter went there.

"No one should define the way you should be. And if someone does so, you should work harder to fulfill your dreams," said Kusuma, who faced monetary difficulties and battled social stereotypes. "No one ever thought I was capable of achieving anything," she said. Her mother had big dreams for her daughters. "My mother was very keen that I join a good school and receive proper education," recalls Kusuma, speaking of the many sacrifices her parents made.

During her final year of college, a mentor program organized at Christel House by Dell opened new avenues. During discussions with the IT heads of the firm, Kusuma expressed her desire to work for a similar organization. Soon, she was called for an interview, which she aced. Kusuma joined Dell's performance-testing team as a trainee on April 1, 2016. Kusuma noted, "I'm enjoying the experience. There is so much to learn and explore. My mentors are always willing to teach me."

The only engineer in her family, Kusuma derives satisfaction from being able to support her family. "It's not important what background you come from. If you are determined to succeed, you can do wonders. The key is not to be negative about the prevailing circumstances," she said.

Kusuma's story proves yet again that, given the right encouragement, most children can rise above the ordinary and reach for the stars. This daughter of a taxi driver has shown the path for disadvantaged children. These children need to be told that they shouldn't be cowed down by their situation and make the most of the support that their parents and NGOs provide. There are many opportunities in the big, wide world and opening their eyes to them is the least that people around them can do. Beyond that, it's the kids' hard work which will see them become achievers.

Your support of Christel House is making an enormous difference in the lives of our students. Kusuma wanted to express her gratitude: “Thank you for helping me see that I can be anything I want to be. I have dreams and aspirations and I will achieve them.” Thank you for your generosity.

Kusuma, Christel House India-Bangalore graduate
Kusuma, Christel House India-Bangalore graduate


Christel House India student at home
Christel House India student at home

Recently, you gave to support Christel House India students. Over the years, people did exactly what you did, they donated. And because of those donations, lives have been changed. Christel House students who grew up in the slums of Bangalore are now successfully employed at companies like Dell, Microsoft, Northern Trust, RCI, and Transguard Securities. Christel House India graduates are excelling in a country where only 6% of the population works in formal sector employment. For these students, the cycle of poverty is being broken. That’s the power of your investment.

“If I was in a different school, we would not be given food.  We would not have medical check-ups.  I would not learn to work hard,” said Sufiyan, a 3rd grade student at Christel House India. Your generosity is changing lives and giving hope to students like Sufiyan—the next generation of Christel House graduates.

100% of your gift directly supports the children of Christel House. Administrative and fundraising costs are covered by our Founder and CEO. Thank you for giving.

Christel House India student at school
Christel House India student at school


Steffi, 9th grade, Christel House India
Steffi, 9th grade, Christel House India

“My name is Steffi and I go to Christel House India. I am in the 9th grade.

I come from a poor background. Things were going good until my par­ents had to pay for school for my two brothers and myself. Our family got into a bad situation—we had finan­cial difficulties. Sometimes we didn’t really have food to eat and we had no water supply. My father started to use alcohol. My parents were going to stop us from studying.

That is when my neighbors told us about Christel House and I started going to school there. It changed me so much. I learned many things, not just about studies, but about life. I am interested in everything and want to give my best. I started sharing all we learned at Christel House with my parents. It began to change every­one, not only me. My father stopped drinking.

If I wasn’t at Christel House, my parents could have chosen child marriage or child labor for me. I didn’t have values for living, but since coming to Christel House, I know I can do something in this world. I have to study as much as possible, become an engineer and help people in my community, like has been done for me.

This is all because of Christel House and all the donors who support it. You changed my life.

Thank you for your ongoing support of ‘Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums.' Steffi is one of roughly 1,200 current Christel House India students who will have a better life because you care.

But there are many more students in need. Would you consider an end of year gift for our students? A gift to help break the cycle of poverty could be the best thing you do all year.


Revathi, Christel House India Graduate
Revathi, Christel House India Graduate

Revathi graduated with distinction and at the top of her class at Christel House India—Bangalore. But her life growing up was not an easy path, as she shares her story of challenges and achievements.

I lost my mother when I was in Grade 8, and my brother was in Grade 5. My father is uneducated, and he has not taken any responsibility in bringing up his children. To add to my misfortunes, my grandparents attempted to arrange my marriage to avoid the responsibility of raising a teenage girl. On many days, my brother and I slept without eating dinner. We found it extremely difficult to cope with our father’s absence for long periods, his substance abuse and his total indifference to our well-being. Although I had everything going against me, I never gave up hope and fought for my right to continue my education.    

The encouragement and support I received at Christel House was what kept me going year after year. I excelled in my studies, participated in cultural programs and won prizes in Olympiad competitions, quiz programs and debates.

I was also fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Adobe Youth Voices program. The scholarship will help me to study at Azim Premji University, one of the best universities in Karnataka, India.

My dream is to become a teacher. I enjoyed teaching my fellow students whenever they needed help. I believe that a teacher can transform the lives of many children. I will uphold the core values of Christel House – Respect, Responsibility, Independence and Integrity in my life. I will strive to become an excellent teacher and hope to one day earn the President’s Award for the best teacher in my country.

I express my immense gratitude to Adobe Youth Voices for giving me an opportunity to work on their projects and giving me the scholarship to pursue my studies. I can never thank my school and my teachers and Ms. Christel DeHaan enough, and I hope I will be able to give back to the community in the future.   

Your support helps young girls at Christel House India, like Revathi, overcome challenges, continue their education and pursue their dreams. Thank you for making an investment in our future.



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Organization Information

Christel House International

Location: Indianapolis, IN - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Bobbi Bosch
Indianapolis, Indiana United States

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